Frontier’s “Ultra-Low-Cost” Fare Structure Includes Fees To Use Overhead Bins, Reserve Seats

Frontier has unveiled a new fee structure that offers discounted flights minus standard amenities such as carry-on baggage. Here's a look at what the difference is for a flight from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas in June.

Frontier’s new fee structure offers discounted flights, minus standard amenities like carry-on bags. Here’s a look at what the fares for a flight from D.C., to Las Vegas in June.

Is Frontier Airlines the newest Spirit Airlines? Minus the always entertaining missives of Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza, the Denver-based carrier is taking a page from its cheapo fellow airline and changing up its price structure to include, among other things, a fee for carry-on baggage and a reserved seat.

On its way to morphing into an “ultra-low-cost” carrier, Frontier announced an overhaul of its pricing structure, USA Today reports.

Effective immediately, customers can choose from two fare types that the airline says has “simplified its fee structure for carry-on bags, checked bags, and seat assignments.”

The Classic Plus fare includes the traditional travel package fliers have become accustomed to, complete with refundable fare, a free carry-on bag, a free checked bag and an advanced seat assignment.

Frontier’s new Economy fare will slash prices by about 12% and won’t include amenities like carry-on bags or reserved seats. However, a passenger can pay a fee for the ability to use the overhead storage bins or reserve a seat.

These seating options are available for customers beginning today.

These seating options are available for customers beginning today.

Frontier also unveiled the Discount Den, a club that allows travelers to receive a $5 savings on the lowest-cost carry-on and first checked bag prices. Currently only EarlyReturns loyalty program customers are eligible for the promotion.

“With an unbundled product, customers can save even more by choosing to pay for only the products that they want, allowing them to customize their flight experience for each and every flight,” Frontier CEO David Siegel says in a statement.

Frontier Travelers who chose the Economy fare can pay the above fees for their carry-on and checked baggage.

Frontier Travelers who chose the Economy fare can pay the above fees for their carry-on and checked baggage.

In an e-mail sent to frequent-fliers on Monday, Siegel says the changes will ensure those passengers have a change of getting the seat they want and over time they won’t have to worry about finding room for carry-on bags in the overhead bins.

Siegel also hypothesizes that the changes will help to ensure customers get to their destinations on time since there will be fewer bags to check at the gate.

This isn’t the first time Frontier has taken a Spirit-like approach to becoming a low-cost carrier.

Last May the company announced a range of carry-on fees if consumers book travel through third-party sites. Travelers who booked on a site other than FlyFrontier.com could expect to pay between $25 to $100 for carry-on items and in-air beverages.

Additionally, the airline made a change to its frequent-flier program last July. Consumers who book their tickets on third-party sites will only earn somewhere between 25% and 50% of the miles they fly, while reserving with Frontier directly will earn fliers the usual 100%, 125% and 150% accrual rate.

Frontier revamps fare structure in ‘ultra-low-cost’ move [USA Today]